President Bush hasn’t been able to garner much support for his Social Security privatization plan. Now the administration and its allies are in retreat. The new strategy is to refuse to address any substantive criticism of their proposal. Instead the former Social Security privatizers are remaking themselves into a group of people who just want an open, free-wheeling conversation on the topic.
Exhibit A: Mitch McConnell this morning on Meet the Press. No matter what question Russert asked, McConnell just repeated his desire for talk and discussion.
Well, why don’t we talk about all of it?
It’s time to sit down and talk about it.
Sure, let’s talk about the whole problem.
We can’t deal with any problem until we sit down on a bipartisan basis and start talking about it.
Why don’t we just sit down and start talking about the subject and see what we can work out on a bipartisan basis?
Looks to me like we’re heading in the direction of being able to sit down and have a bipartisan conversation, Tim…
Why not discuss it all, the whole problem, if we’re going to sit down on a bipartisan basis and have a broad- ranging discussion about how to solve this problem?
But why not discuss it?
At the risk of being redundant, it seems to me that the smart thing to do is to discuss all aspects of this.
But I think I hear Dick saying that maybe he’s willing to sit down and talk.
And I don’t believe in the end they will insist that we can’t discuss all aspects of this.
Why don’t we at least discuss that in the context of the overall effort to save Social Security for our children and our grandchildren?
I don’t think there ought to be any conditions whatsoever on beginning a bipartisan discussion to save Social Security for our children and our grandchildren.
Why don’t we just stop that and sit down together now that it’s clear from the tour of the last two days, that Dick and Harry Reid and others believe that it’s time to start talking?